Feature: Sonaural. Festival – An Appreciation

Sonaural. Festival played out its second edition at WORM’s UBIK space on 12 March 2020. WORM asked the organisers to explain their work and modus operandi.

SONAURAL is an immersive journey into the realm of audio-visual installations and performances. The set-up is not the classic front-of-stage one. Rather, the visitor will be surrounded by the installations, bringing us closer into a frameless world, where abstract universal patterns will become a physical phenomena. Sonaural .2 is created by artists such as Ana Brumat and Henrietta Müller. The festival is curated by Jacques Kayser.

What we can forget easily is that stepping out of the instability can help us explore sites of ourselves we have not seen before. That translations through visuals, and musical languages can make us forget about time. If you open yourself to infinite time structures, where time becomes elastic and spaces dynamic, we can gradually accept the complexity of life.

“It is part of our ‘identity creation’, to reshape and adapt to our external environment and our personal emotions. This process makes me feel alienated towards myself, many times. It can be hard to find stable ground to shape an image of myself to the world, especially about my inner self. The abstract journey of flowing emotions and thoughts makes me constantly aware of time. And every day I hope to establish an identity that fits in the society I live in now.” – Anonymous writer. 

Meet Jacques Kayser - organiser

Jacques Kayser is the main organiser of Sonaural.’s two editions, where his personal fascination for audio-visual experience is revealed. The first edition focused on the sculptural elements around audio-visual culture. This time the spotlight is on artistic approaches to projections. He explains why visual art blended with electronic sounds and music can be a sublime combination:

“Audio-visual experiences are honest because there is just no escape, it’s you and the spatial set-up. You have to listen to your mind and body, accepting what is happening and not fight it. These experiences can evoke extremes, both pleasant and challenging. There is just no limit to it. It is amazing where our mind and body can go to, and audio-visual art shows us many ways.”

Kayser sees the meaning of this event is one where creating a space allows people to fully immerse themselves in the artworks and performances. Both in an imaginative and sensory way and one where it’s possible to have a conversation with the artist.

Meet Henrietta Müller - interdisciplinary artist

Henrietta Müller sees Sonaural. as an invitation to share time and space together, and experience the outcome of the actual questions posed by the artists. Her work is like a conversation piece, elaborating on questions and talking with the audience about possibilities of inner movements within personal understandings.

An interesting question for Henrietta and other artists like Ana Brumat is; ‘Are the artists responsible for the individuals’ inner experience?’. In one way, yes. Henrietta explains that their act does have an impact on the perspectives of the audience. The performances and installations are creating room for change ‘between’ perspectives.

For the audience it can be challenging to experience different perspectives and accept them. The creative freedom the artists have is the essence for their own creations. This also arouses challenges for the artist themselves. Henrietta explains that the only boundary for her imagination is not believing enough in herself. In this project, technology is helping her to:

“…express my urge to create awareness of the need of abstraction in our lives. Further challenging myself to learn instruments, softwares, new materials, keep interpretations open, experiment and practice more, that’s how you develop a stronger language and voice within AV culture.”

Henrietta explains that the main connective goal of working together with other artists at Sonaural, like Ana Brumat, is to talk about the value of art and to experiment with sounds and visuals. And to explore the imperceptible and translate it into a language for the rest of us. This happens between the walls of a non-conventional space, where the audience is able to walk around the installations. It is your own choice to stay close to the artist or, ‘… to just stay in the corner if that’s what the individual needs.’ says Henrietta. She says that:

“…Sonaural offers a night full of questions about our own boundaries and our capacity of letting our surroundings influence us, make us think, feel and also just have a good night.”